Kubernetes 100 - Introduction

Born in Google and donated to Cloud Native Computing Foundation in 2014, 2017 was the year when Kubernetes conquered the container orchestration space as Docker Swarm and Mesos. In this article, we will see the basics of Kubernetes.

The name “Kubernetes” stems from an ancient Greek word for “helmsman,” someone who steers a ship, like a container ship, which explains the ship wheel logo ☸.

Kubernetes is a system for managing containerized applications across a cluster of nodes

Kubernetes Architecture

Kubernetes cluster consists of Master and Nodes: Master is the controlling machine and Nodes are where your containerized apps run.


Master is composed of these components:

Nodes, aka Workers or Minions

Launch Single Node Kubernetes Cluster

Step 0 - Install Minikube

Minikube is a tool to run Kubernetes locally. It runs a single node cluster inside a VM.

$ curl -LO https://storage.googleapis.com/minikube/releases/latest/minikube_latest_amd64.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i minikube_latest_amd64.deb
$ minikube version
minikube version: v0.32.0
commit: ad1ecbcf0099a46b93b620be65c9870ae52bb314

Step 1 - Start Minikube

Let’s start the cluster, by running the minikube start command:

$ minikube start --wait=false
* minikube v1.8.1 on Ubuntu 18.04
* Using the none driver based on user configuration
* Running on localhost (CPUs=2, Memory=2460MB, Disk=145651MB) ...
* OS release is Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS
* Preparing Kubernetes v1.12.5 on Docker 18.05.0-ce ...
  - kubelet.resolv-conf=/run/systemd/resolve/resolv.conf
* Launching Kubernetes ...
* Enabling addons: default-storageclass, storage-provisioner
* Configuring local host environment ...
* Done! kubectl is now configured to use "minikube"

We now have a running cluster. Minikube created a VM, and started cluster in that VM.

Step 2 - Cluster Info

The cluster can be interacted with using the kubectl CLI. This is the main approach used for managing Kubernetes and the applications running on top of the cluster.

$ kubectl cluster-info
* Reconfiguring existing host ...
* Using the running none "minikube" bare metal machine ...
* OS release is Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS
$ kubectl get nodes
minikube   Ready    master   2m53s   v0.32.0

If the node is marked as NotReady then it is still starting the components.

This command shows all nodes to host applications. Now we have only one node, and we can see that it’s status is ready (it is ready to accept applications for deployment).

Step 3 - Deploy Containers

With a running Kubernetes cluster, containers can now be deployed.

Using kubectl run, it allows containers to be deployed onto the cluster:

$ kubectl create deployment first-deployment --image=docker-http-server
deployment.apps/first-deployment created

The status of the deployment can be discovered via the running Pods:

$ kubectl get pods
NAME                               READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
first-deployment-666c48b44-wb428   1/1     Running   0          69s

Once the container is running it can be exposed via different networking options, depending on requirements. One possible solution is NodePort, that provides a dynamic port to a container.

$ kubectl expose deployment first-deployment --port=80 --type=NodePort
service/first-deployment exposed

The command below finds the allocated port and executes a HTTP request.

$ export PORT=$(kubectl get svc first-deployment -o go-template='\n')
$ echo "Accessing host01:$PORT"
Accessing host01:31118
$ curl host01:$PORT
<h1>Hello, world!</h1>

The result is the container that processed the request.


In this article, we had a quick look at some Kubernetes basics. Kubernetes operates using a very simple model and minikube helps to get hands dirty with containers and orchestration. In the next posts, we will share more resources and hands-on tasks.